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Archive for June, 2019

Kitty is doing better and "vacation" begins

June 28th, 2019 at 05:13 pm

My cat ended up spending a week in the veterinary hospital, and then two more weeks at home with a esophageal feeding tube, which I did use to feed her a few times right after she came home, and then just to administer medications as the meds continued to work. She's not entirely better (and she may never be) but she is significantly improved, and I'm no longer feeling as though her passing is immediately imminent. Both my cats are 14 so I am well aware that I may lose one or both in the next couple of years.

I did add to my debt to get her through the medical crisis but with no regrets--she makes my house a home and makes me laugh and would be a reason to live even if life was otherwise bleak (which it is not).

Life is not bleak but I'm a bit stymied by the fact that I suddenly find myself on vacation with no plans in place. I actually was going to take off starting yesterday, and then all of next week, but I ended up changing to just take all of next week.

I scheduled the long period because I had my six-month follow-up thyroid ultrasound last week and thought that if the nodule had grown, this would allow me a period to take time for surgery. I originally had both an endocrinologist and a surgical oncologist appointment scheduled shortly after the ultrasound, and both doctors ended up moving my appointments into July, but I got the ultrasound results and I know from that the nodule has not grown and is very slightly smaller. The only reason I would have had the surgery is if it had grown or if I were feeling symptoms. Neither thing is true, so I will continue the "watch and wait" strategy. I had intended to also take much better care of my health in terms of improved diet and exercise, and that didn't pan out very well (and still it was smaller). So that is incentive to try again for the improved self-care.

Because I was thinking I might have surgery, I didn't bother making any vacation plans, and because my cat is still not entirely herself, I don't want to leave her overnight.

I DO want to (a) make some significant progress on my Investments course, as I am six weeks behind, and (b) do some more decluttering, and I'll try to find a couple of fun things just so "vacation" isn't all work and no play. I have a friend who is now a "snowbird" and I haven't seen her since last summer and I'll try to get together with her, and we have an LL Bean outlet locally that offers kayaking courses on a local lake, so I'll try to schedule those things plus go see a movie or something. If the cat was better I would go visit a friend who lives in Albany but I'm not ready to leave her overnight yet, so that visit will have to wait. I do have a friend coming to visit me the first weekend in August so I'll just continue decluttering and making my place look nicer for her--and for me, of course. Another friend usually comes out in August and invites me overnight to her riverside cabin, so hopefully in another month I'll feel that I can leave the kitty overnight. She has another panel of blood tests and another followup ultrasound in a month, and hopefully things will continue to improve.

It IS lovely to have her home.

Sick kitty and a blow to the budget

June 14th, 2019 at 03:56 pm

Ten days ago, I noticed that my normally very hungry kitty, Buffy, was just picking at her food. I kept an eye on her for a couple of days since sometimes she has an upset stomach that resolves on its own, but this time, it didn't. I called for an appointment last Thursday and was able to get her in on Friday (since she was picking at her food and didn't otherwise show signs of illness, it didn't seem an emergency). The vet briefly examined her, showed me evidence on the whites of her eyeballs and the inside of her ears that she was jaundiced (which was just a little bit yellowish, not severe enough that I would have picked it up on my own, even if I had known where to look), told me that she was a very sick cat, and recommended hospitalization at one of the local 24 hour veterinary hospitals. I was told that I had 3 choices: hospitalize her and proceed with diagnostic tests, just give her a drug and see if she improved, or euthanize her.

So last Friday, I brought her in, had some initial diagnostics done, had more imaging tests run on Monday which revealed "nothing terrible" (i.e., no cancer), got a diagnosis of "cholangiohepatitis," which is more a description of symptions than an explanation of cause, decided not to have her biopsied at this point but to proceed with steroid treatment, and I finally brought her home yesterday. The steroids helped but started making her diabetic again (she is a diabetic who has been in remission for 4 years), so now she is off the steroids and fingers crossed that the liver improvment continues and the increased blood glucose resolves. One way or another I'll have her blood glucose tested tomorrow (at home if I can manage it and at the vet if I can't), she'll have another blood panel run on Monday, and with any luck the feeding tube that they inserted will be removed. She's lost at least 20% of her body weight but I'm hopeful that her condition can be managed. I'll have a better sense after Monday. In the meantime, I spent about $8,000 on this (some of which I was able to pay with available funds and about 5k currently added to the debt, putting me back financially to about where I was in February.

She's my "heart kitty" and whatever happens it was worth it to me to try and keep her around for another couple of years as long as she can be reasonably healthy.

Not the decision I would make for every pet, but this is my "heart kitty," the one I have been closest to of the four I have owned.